Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH) recently opened its expanded Sustainable Technologies facility in Riverview, Florida.
The facility is now twice the size it was before, at 100,000 square feet, said Cardinal Health of Dublin, Ohio.
The medical device manufacturer and distributor launched Sustainable Technologies in 2015 to collect, reprocess and recycle single-use devices in the US. Sustainable Technologies now partners with more than 3,000 U.S. hospitals and ambulatory service centers, according to Cardinal Health.
The FDA allows single-use devices to be used more than once if reprocessors can demonstrate that the reprocessed devices are substantially equivalent to the original device. Many single-use devices can be recycled when they cannot be reprocessed.
“Sustainable Technologies is a unique growth company within Cardinal Health,” Global Planning SVP Pete Bennett said in a press release. “Our investment in this expansion highlights Cardinal Health’s commitment to helping reduce the environmental impact and waste of healthcare [single-use device] workup.”
Cardinal Health said reprocessing single-use devices is one of the biggest opportunities to reduce hospital waste. The company cited an Association of Medical Device Reprocessors report that estimated U.S. hospitals saved $372 million by 2020 from reprocessed single-use devices.
Those devices cost 25% to 40% less than their brand-new counterparts, according to the association, which represents the reprocessing and remanufacturing industry for single-use devices.
“Sustainable Technologies’ increased space allows the company to bring new products to market for customers and better meet the increasing demand for existing products,” said Bennett. “This is a win-win situation, allowing us to help more customers both reduce costs and remove more waste from the environment.”
How Cardinal Health’s Sustainable Technologies Business Works
Sustainable Technologies identifies optimal locations for single-use device collection bins and schedules regular collections for reprocessing. Used products in the Sustainable Technologies facility are then inspected, sorted, cleaned, tested, inspected, disinfected, sterilized and redistributed to healthcare facilities.
Reprocessable devices include pneumatic tourniquet cuffs, later air transfer mats, compression sleeves, disposable leads, pressure infusion bags, and pulse oximetry sensors.
The Riverview facility has recycled, reused or recovered more than 2.5 million pounds of solid waste and kept 99.9% of its waste from landfills, according to Cardinal Health. The facility recovers valuable metals from batteries and wires, for example, and sorts corrugated cardboard for recycling into cardboard or chipboard products such as paper towels, tissues and cardboard.
Non-recoverable material and pharmaceutical and hazardous waste at the Sustainable Technologies facility is incinerated, while regulated medical and plant waste goes to a waste-to-energy facility where it is incinerated to generate electricity.
Cardinal Health reported 2022 revenue of $15.9 billion for its medical segment, which it says Medical Design & Outsourcing‘s Medtech Big 100 ranking.